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RFU cut Moody & Lawes fines and accept liability

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Article Published: Friday 25 November 2011

Former England Captain Lewis Moody and Courtney Lawes have had their fines for breaching Rugby World Cup 2011 commercial rules reduced to 7,500 and 6,500 respectively.

The pair, whose appeal was heard by Acting Chief Executive Officer Martyn Thomas this week, were originally fined 10,000 for wearing branded mouth guards in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against France.

Regarding Lewis Moody, Martyn Thomas said, "We accepted Lewis Moody's observation that the RFU provided unbranded mouth guards in 2003 and 2007 and that other unions provide unbranded mouth guards.

"In addition, there was mitigation that there was insufficient communication from the RFU who should have done more to prevent breaches from occurring, knowing the possible fines for breaches.

"However, as a senior player and as captain who has played in both the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cup campaigns and is well aware of the issues around branding, he along with all other players need to realise their responsibilities and act in accordance with commercial guidelines."

Regarding Courtney Lawes, Martyn Thomas said: "We accepted Courtney Lawes' observation that the RFU provided unbranded mouth guards in 2003 and 2007 and also could not access email communication detailing commercial guidelines due to difficulties with internet connection.

"However when playing at this level, players have to be aware that communications will be sent and must put systems in place to ensure that all messages are getting through."

"Courtney's age and inexperience, having not played in a Rugby World Cup campaign before were also considered."

He added: "There has been an admission from the Elite Rugby Department that more could have been done to prevent breaches. However players have to take responsibility and have to ensure they read communications given to them and take heed of team talks. Taking all these matters into account we have decided to reduce the fines accordingly."

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